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August 30, 2015 / 15 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Boycott’

BDS Trying to Stop Bon Jovi from Performing in Israel

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

The “Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)” is petitioning anti-Zionists to sign up in a bid to force the rock group Bon Jovi from performing for the first time in Israel.

The petition states:

World renowned band, Bon Jovi, is scheduled to perform in Israel on October 3rd. We ask the members of the band, Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, and Tico Torres, to reconsider their concert in apartheid Israel, until Israel complies with international law and respects the rights of the indigenous Palestinian people.

Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people have caused enormous despair, death, injury, and displacement, to millions of people.

The boycott group also warned that Israeli company producing the show also has clients such as Motorola whose “crime” is that it provides Internet access on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem train that will pass through a small area in Samaria. In the petition’s language, the “train which cuts through stolen Palestinian village land in the occupied West Bank.”

Equally “worse,” according to PACBI, the production company also does business with Hewlett-Packard, which provides biometric control systems at checkpoints.

The attempt to stop the rock group is on the road to another failure. Bon Jovi’s producer in Israel told the group , “Bon Jovi couldn’t care less.”

This question has been asked thousands of times, but it still needs to be presented: Why doesn’t PACBI and other boycott groups stop using computers made with chips at Intel, whose employees include people living in Judea and Samaria?

United States’ Episcopal Church Rejects Boycott of Israeli Goods from Judea and Samaria

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

SALT LAKE – The General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States met in Salt Lake City yesterday, Thursday, July 2 and rejected in a voice vote the proposal to divest from businesses that have operations in Judea and Samaria and to boycott products from the region.

At the Church’s 78th General Convention, the House of Bishops, led by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, overwhelmingly defeated the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions resolution. The Episcopal Church has around 1.8 million members across the United States.

Commenting on the text of the resolution, Bishop Ed Little of Northern Indiana said that it was “clearly and unmistakably advocates boycott and divestment, and we must reject it,” according to a news report by the Episcopal News Service. “As Anglicans, we have the gift and ability to reach out to people on both sides in the conflict. That is what the Episcopal Church is doing in the Middle East. Our current leadership under the presiding bishop is allowing us to be peacemakers.”

Another bishop, Leo Frade of Southeast Florida said in the Episcopal News Service report that his experience of embargoes and blocking, in particular the embargo of Cuba, backfire. “It hurts the same people we think we are helping. Palestinian jobs depend on investment, not on divestment.”

In addition, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA in Kansas City, Missouri, decided to delay a vote on divestment from Israel until their next assembly in 2017. Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) hailed the decision by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church to reject themotion endorsing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

“We wholeheartedly thank the Episcopal Church convention for lending its support to Israel on this issue, and for taking a moral stand. We sincerely hope that other major church denominations in America will follow this example and stop the BDS movement in its tracks.”

Earlier this week, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ (UCC) voted in favor of divestment from Israel.

“Endorsing BDS does nothing to improve the plight of the Palestinians, in particular not of those employed by Israeli companies in the West Bank. Endorsing BDS also doesn’t contribute to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. All it does is to sow division and hatred,” added Lauder.

The WJC president said the real motive of the BDS movement was “to put into question the existence of Israel as the democratic nation-state of the Jewish people.”

“The BDS movement won’t bring peace and justice to the Middle East; that will only come once the Palestinians and their supporters choose cooperation over confrontation.”

This week, Malachi Rosenfeld, 26, of Kochav Hashahar in the Binyamin region, was killed in a terror attack on Monday when Palestinian terrorists fired upon him and other passengers while they were driving back from a basketball game.

US Mennonite Church Group Postpones BDS Vote

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

A third U.S. church group that was set to vote this week on a motion to divest from companies doing business with Israel has decided to table the resolution for two years.

The Mennonite Church USA had planned to vote on whether to sell off stock in firms “known to be profiting from the ‘Occupation’ and from ‘destruction of life and property’ in Judea and Samaria.

At its national meeting Wednesday in Kansas City, Missouri, however, delegates voted 418-336, with 28 abstentions, to table the resolution until the next assembly convenes – two years from now, according to a church spokesperson.

The vote to divest would have been the third this week by a U.S. church group; two others (the Episcopal Church and the Cleveland synod of the United Church of Christ, both held in Salt Lake City) passed a motion to support the BDS (boycott, divest and sanctions) campaign against the State of Israel.

The churches voted to sever ties with companies that do business with firms that have any connection with Judea and Samaria, many of which employ Arabs from the Palestinian Authority who would lose their jobs as a result.

Obama Won’t Enforce Anti-BDS Provision Language in Trade Bill he just Signed

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

This week the United States officially put on notice its trade partners that it will not countenance boycotts or other economic warfare against Israel.

After signing the relevant trade legislation into law, however, the White House signaled to all its trade partners that they are still free to boycott goods made in the disputed territories, despite the clear language of the legislation the president signed.

This week the Trade Promotion Authority bill was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama.

The TPA is primarily focused on international trade between the U.S. and Europe. It also included a section which addresses trade between the U.S. and Israel.

That part of the legislation, the U.S.-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act, bans boycotts and other means of economic warfare against Israel or the “Israeli-controlled territories.” This amendment, introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill-6) with bi-partisan co-sponsorship, was unanimously adopted into the PTA in April.

The passage of the TPA, including the anti-BDS section, should sound a death knell for the BDS (Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel) Movement. It should.

However, as pro-Israel Americans and Israelis learned only a few weeks ago in the Jerusalem passport case (Zivotofsky v. Kerry), there are certain spheres of international decision making over which the president has exclusive, or at least primary and controlling, control. Obama claims that international trade is one of those areas, even though Article 1, Section 8, clause 3, expressly gives Congress the power to regulate foreign commerce.

So even though the TPA is intended to act as a strong deterrent to European and other countries to pass and enforce boycotts of Israeli products, the White House has already signaled that it will not extend its protection to any goods produced in the disputed territories.

The anti boycott of Israel language in the TPA is: “actions by states, nonmember states of the United Nations, international organizations or affiliated agencies of international organizations that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with Israel or persons doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories.” [emphasis added.]

In a statement which Matt Lee of the Associated Press attributed to State Dept. spokesperson John Kirby, the administration made clear that despite signing the TPA, the position of the White House remains, as it has been, that the U.S. opposes boycotts of the State of Israel, but it also opposes the presence of Jews in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights.

In the statement the administration argues that by “conflating Israel and ‘Israeli-controlled territories’ a provision of the Trade Promotion Authority legislation runs counter to longstanding U.S. policy towards the occupied territories, including with regard to settlement activity,” and says that every U.S. administration has opposed “settlement activity.”

It goes on to point out that the “U.S. government has never defended or supported Israeli settlements and activity associated with them and, by extension, does not pursue policies or activities that would legitimize them.”

The U.S. administration announced that it will not jeopardize the holy grail of the two-state solution by enforcing the U.S. law as written and which its leader signed. In the statement it claims that “both parties have long recognized that settlement activity and efforts to change facts on the ground undermine the goal of a two-state solution to the conflict and only make it harder to negotiate a sustainable and equitable peace deal in good faith.” It is on this basis, ostensibly to promote a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, that this administration

Professor Eugene Kontorovich of the Northwestern University School of Law analyzes several other provisions of the U.S-Israel trade aspect of the TPA which have been largely overlooked. In particular, Kontorovich points out, U.S. courts cannot recognize or enforce the judgment of any foreign court “that doing business in or being based in the West Bank or Golan Heights violates international law or particular European rules.”

 

Burger King Returning to Israel

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

The Burger King franchise will be returning to Israel.

Burger King arrived in the Israeli market in 1994, but cancelled the contract with Rikamor Ltd. following a worldwide boycott by Muslim groups, after Rikamor opened a Burger King branch in the Israeli city of Maaleh Adumim.

By 2010, all the Burger Kings in Israel were shut down.

Orgad Holdings bought the branches and converted them into the Israeli-based Burger Ranches.

Now, Tunisian-born businessmans, Pierre Besnainou, is planning to open 50 Burger King outlets around Israel over the next 5 years, with an initial investment of $12 million.

The first branch is scheduled to open in August, and 5 more by December.

But will they open in the cities of Maaleh Adumim, Ariel and Ginot Shomron?

Israel Beats BDS in Sweden

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Efforts by Israel’s Ambassador to Sweden have paid off with the removal of a boycott of Israeli goods sold in at least three stores of a huge supermarket chain.

The COOP Forum stores in the northern city of Varberg voted nearly three months ago for the boycott, which affected products from all of Israel, not just from Judea and Samara. The chain has 644 outlets, and if the boycott had spread, it could have been a catalyst for a wider embargo in Europe on items from Israel.

Ambassador to Sweden Yitzchak Bachman swung into action immediately after the boycott was approved and went high-profile, giving interviews and arguing that the discrimination violates the concept of free trade.

He appealed to the management of the stores in Varberg, and officials issued as statement saying they oppose boycotts. The ambassador also posted online the phone numbers and e-mail address of COOP’s management, which was bombarded with protests.

It was the second recent victory for Israel. Last week, the Orange company embarrassed itself when its CEO said in Cairo that he would prefer not having anything to do with the company’s Israeli franchise.

Drowning in a sea of fierce criticism from Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the Orange CEO made a 180-degree, and that was the end of the boycott that never was.

Bachman said after the latest victory over BDS:

The thing to do about boycotts is oppose them for what they are, without trying to decide whether we are right or the Palestinians are right. The support we were able to gain among Swedish citizens was essential, as the chain realized it couldn’t fight the will of the people.

‘I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke (Except Israel)’

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

The CEO of the Cola-Cola franchise in the Palestinian Authority has publicly called for a boycott of Israel, in violation of Coca-Cola’s policy and recent Congressional amendments to trade laws.

The holder of the franchise is Zahi Khouri, who heads the “Palestinian National Beverage Company.” He has written in U.S. media:

Non-violent efforts of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) advocates make sense as a means to force Israel to recognize that the occupation is not cost-free … countries, like those in the European Union, could enforce their own laws against doing businesses with countries that violate human rights.

Khouri signed his op-ed article as a “Palestinian-American businessman” but carefully omitted that he owns the Coca-Cola franchise in the Palestinian Authority.

Hei moved to the United States in 1967 and built a successful business until 1993, when the Oslo Accords attracted him to live in the Palestinian Authority.

The mega-businessman is one of the Palestinian Authority’s billionaires. Besides holding the Coca-Cola franchise, he runs the PA’s only mobile phone company.

Khouri, born in Jaffa next to Tel Aviv, also has frequently met with American government officials to lobby against Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria.

His call for a boycott follows the Orange company’s debacle that started out with a death wish for its franchise with Israel’s Partner Communications and ended up with a “We love Israel” act to climb down from a falling BDS tree.

Khouri faces the same fate.

Coca-Cola’s Code of Business Conduct for franchisees states:

Because The Coca-Cola Company is incorporated in the United States, our employees around the world often are subject to U.S. laws.

Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) has sent a warning letter to Coca-Cola that it will sue the firm if it does not rescind Khouri’s franchise. The letter also states:

The Coca-Cola Company should not affiliate itself with any person or entity calling for a boycott or similar effort against the Israeli government or the nation’s manufacturers, companies, products or services

Recent amendments by Congress require U.S. trade negotiators to ‘discourage politically motivated actions’ by foreign countries and international organizations that aim to ‘penalize or otherwise limit’ commercial relations with Israel or ‘persons doing business in Israel or in territories controlled by Israel.’

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned Khouri’s call for a boycott of Israel as “outright anti-Semitism” and called on Coca-Cola to immediately and publicly condemn and repudiate his remarks.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said:

Zahi Khouri’s anti-Semitic remarks confirm him as an opponent of the Jewish State of Israel’s existence, one who seeks to ostracize, damage and ultimately overcome Israel by means of the BDS campaign of continual, progressive delegitimization of Israel so as to compel it to make untenable concessions to a Palestinian movement that has no intention of living in peace with Israel.

The support of BDS by the owner of the Coca-Cola franchise in the Palestinian Authority has done Israel a big favor because it is going to be another big boomerang for BDS and the Ramallah regime.

The U.S. House of Representatives last Friday approved a bill that would prohibit the United States from being a part of free trade agreements with the European Union if its participates in the Boycott Israel campaign.

Khouri’s call for a boycott will stir up more anger among Congressmen who already have passed measures to restrict aid to the Palestinian Authority.

The Democratic and Republican parties;’ campaigns for the 2016 presidential elections are moving not high gear, and each candidate will try to scream louder than the other against BDS.

It is reasonable to assume that Khouri will receive a phone call from Coca-Cola’s headquarters today telling him to keep to put the cap on his mouth.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/id-like-to-buy-the-world-a-coke-except-israel/2015/06/16/

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